To put it mildly, the internet is in an uproar over the killing in Zimbabwe of Cecil the Lion by a dentist from Minnesota on safari.

Cecil was a beautiful animal.

I understand that trophy hunting, when done legally, helps support local conservation efforts and local communities in Africa. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the funds generated make it in the economic interest of the local population not to hunt the animals themselves — which is the real threat to endangered animal populations. It also supports the local economy.

But in this case, Cecil was lured out of a nature preserve for the kill. And it seems hard to understand what good could come from killing such a magnificant example of the species.

What is not good, in my mind, is trying to score points by noting how the mainstream media has paid more attention to Cecil than to the aborted babies in the Planned Parenthood scandal. One has nothing to do with the other, and in a perverse way, it almost draws a moral equivalency to argue that the abortion scandal should have received more coverage because of coverage of Cecil.

Moral comparisons of bad things often are dangerous, e.g., which was worse, the Holocaust or Slavery? “Both” is the correct answer.

So when it comes to Cecil, I’m upset. I’ll leave it at that.

[Featured image via Jimmy Kimmel Live]


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